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A low-noise avalanche photodiode (APD) for 2-μm detection, developed by engineers at the University of Virginia (UVA) and the University of Texas-Austin (UT-Austin), could provide high-power, eye-safe light imaging, detection, and ranging for lidar applications. According to the team, the new APD has demonstrated record performance.
To build the APD, engineers at UT-Austin used molecular beam epitaxy to grow a digital alloy composed of aluminum, indium, arsenic, and antimony. The alloy combines long-wavelength sensitivity, ultralow noise, and the design flexibility that is needed to achieve low dark currents, a capability that is not available with existing low-noise APD materials technologies, the researchers said.